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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:12 am 
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dougeee wrote:
samantha wrote:
“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”
― Isaac Asimov


How?

There are a bunch of things in the bible that are considered rather horrid by today's standard. There is also a decent amount of inconsistency, contradiction, and just general weirdness.
Then you read it and you're like, "wait I believe that?"
Assuming you're a Christian of course. I don't think reading the bible helps if you don't believe in it.

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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:23 am 
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I guess that's both the strong point and the weakness with the bible. It's strength is that it obviously hasn't been written by a political speech writer and of course that it has some very profound statements. The weakness is that it's nuts in so many places that you have to literary turn two blind eyes to some passages.

I actually don't have any big problems with the main church and most of it's priests. They've done, and do, some unfortunate things, but also do a lot of good in the world. Humans do have a need to believe in something. If it comes from religion or ideology doesn't matter, but we must have hope and constantly seek guidance to find meaning in life (be it confession booths or internet chat forums). And the bulk of priests are simply helping people to get on with there lives. Supporting and guiding them in times of need. The main church body has always used the scripture to fit the needs of the time.

It's the fringe people/groups who take one line of thought/belief and goes nuts with it. And if the religious nut cases doesn't fight other religions, they fight internally (protestants vs catholic, shia vs sunni...). It's seldom about religion, it's often about power and human rights. Which group has the power, and how do they abuse the other group (pro life vs women's rights, yellow shirts vs red shirts, fascists vs communists, blacks vs whites, basque vs spanish, normans vs saxons, swedes vs danes...), and then some nut job goes and blows up a few of the others in the name off [insert favorite deity].

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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:36 am 
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Yes I am a Christian, though many would argue that I am not. I believe that the bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Unfortunately, those who translated the bible purposely left out books and other doctrine material to fit their beliefs and made it confusing so that only the elite could teach the mass.

However, at the heart of the bible it is very simple. It is to testify that Jesus atone for the sins for everyone so that everyone can have eternal life. The old testament is their to teach that since the beginning of time mankind has been waiting for Jesus to come to earth and atone for our sins. The whole reason that God commanded the Jews to do sacrifices was to remind them that Jesus would be sacrificed for them. Once that was done their was no need to perform sacrifices.

New Testament is to testify that Jesus did everything that was promise he would do in the old testament, as well as to testify that he shall come again and to prepare people for the second coming. Having a testimony in the atonement is the main thing after that nothing else really matters. All the other stuff is just additional knowledge.

I will say the scriptures above about women is interesting but more reflects on society of the time than any thing profound on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ester Sarah and Ruth are women who had plenty to say and influenced the men. Even Eve influenced Adam and not in a negative way in which many are led to believe. If not for Eve none us would be here today.

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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:04 am 
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This is me playing Devil's Advocate and does not necessarily represent my own views, but I think Asimov may be referring to the fact that God comes out of the Bible surprisingly badly

In the Old Testament, he obliterates any groups he doesn't like. He orders Joshua to commence a process of ethnic cleansing in Canaan. His testing of Abraham and Job border on emotional sadism. The demand that they should venerate nothing but him can be seen as clingy and jealous. In the New Testament we are told that his only plan for his only and well beloved son was to preach, cause havoc in the most holy site in the world and then die horribly. Asimov may have wondered if that was a kind and benevolent God do you want one?

On the broader point of the Bible there is one thing to bear in mind. It was written over a 1.500 year period by a variety of authors all of whom had different outlooks, were concerned by different issues and faced very different religious issues. It is no surprise that it is confused, self contradictory and uureflective of some aspects of morality. We should merely be surprised that it has any coherance at all. Calling it the Bible ("The Book") is a misnomer it is an anthology of works and like all anthologies it had a series of editors who chose which tales went in and which were left out.


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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:30 pm 
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Rufus wrote:
This is me playing Devil's Advocate and does not necessarily represent my own views, but I think Asimov may be referring to the fact that God comes out of the Bible surprisingly badly

In the Old Testament, he obliterates any groups he doesn't like. He orders Joshua to commence a process of ethnic cleansing in Canaan. His testing of Abraham and Job border on emotional sadism. The demand that they should venerate nothing but him can be seen as clingy and jealous. In the New Testament we are told that his only plan for his only and well beloved son was to preach, cause havoc in the most holy site in the world and then die horribly. Asimov may have wondered if that was a kind and benevolent God do you want one?

On the broader point of the Bible there is one thing to bear in mind. It was written over a 1.500 year period by a variety of authors all of whom had different outlooks, were concerned by different issues and faced very different religious issues. It is no surprise that it is confused, self contradictory and uureflective of some aspects of morality. We should merely be surprised that it has any coherance at all. Calling it the Bible ("The Book") is a misnomer it is an anthology of works and like all anthologies it had a series of editors who chose which tales went in and which were left out.


Being a scholar of the bible I'm trying not to let this thread spread too much but sometimes I just get rubbed the wrong way.

Joshuas ethnic cleansing was something I debated in school (Not catholic). Part of the practices of the time involved child sacrifice. The origin of a house warming party can be traced to include when a child was actiually buried alive in the house - a practice that is is present in a form in Africa (a body part may be used instead).

This ethnic cleansing was arguably similar to the allies stopping the Nazis (not Germans). Because the threat of corruption was too great a death sentance was imposed for those who were collectivelly accessories to murder.

The cannonites had other unseemly practices too - one that involved a girl selling her virginity at the temple caught my eye as a teenager (I wonder why).

The point about the bible being an athology is correct to a point. No collection of eye witness is ever the same - a certain point of view. One 'contradiction' that comes to mind is about a robe Jesus wore - One gospel said purple another said red. A contradiction until you realise that purple was made up of red dye during those times and so it is possible in the right light to see red and then another purple.

FYI regarding Job - God didn't test Job he mearly permitted the Devil to do so while safeguarding his life. Latter it was a HEA for him. His wife went into labour several more times though!

Abraham ... well this could go on forever so I'll just say

WE NEED A FLUTTERING EYELASH SMILIE!

Roll on the Semenary!

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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:16 pm 
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oh emiithree Image

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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:33 pm 
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This is the classic unwinnable argument. You can criticize or defend The Bible on the basis of selective reading. Some scholars on both sides do excellent work at that.

But it's pointless because in the end you're either a believer or not. If you are, the wacky stuff in The Big Book of Jewish Fairy Tales (a phrase I got from Bill Maher and feel free to use because I happens to be Jewish) will always find an explanation. When confronted over the claim that the earth is only 6,000 years old and was created in seven days, they'll point out that our idea of a day may be very different from that of a supreme being. Of course, there's no logical retort to that.

On the other hand, if you are a rationalist who looks at the world based on empirical evidence most religions are loaded down with things they consider miracles and rationalists consider highly unlikely.

As an atheist I'm often asked if I can really believe the whole universe came about by pure accident. Considering the cruel and arbitrary nature of physical processes and the fundamentally murderous nature of life (which requires one thing to die for another to live) I say I consider that the most charitable explanation.

If what we have is somebody's idea of a loving creation, that entity has a very odd idea of loving and I'll pass on it, thank you.

But that's just me. When it comes to faith, everyone's mileage varies.


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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:44 pm 
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BTW, a couple of issues ago we ran a photo set in Taboo involving two guys dressed as priests having their way with a girl.

Hardly anyone sends snail mail letters to sex mags anymore but we got two angry letters from readers over that set. And both were big fans of the magazine and wanted us to know that they consider themselves pervy as the next guy. Talk about squaring the circle. Half at least of what they claim to like would get them struck by lightning or stoned to death back in the day.

I once had occasion to discuss the matter of BDSM with a well-known rabbinical scholar who, after thinking up a storm, muttering to himself, rocking back and forth, consulting The Talmud, etc., pronounced with a big grin on his face that when it comes to BDSM, "There's no rule against it!" This makes it okay for an observant Jew who can't even shake hands with a woman to engage in a variety of perverse sexual practices with her.

See, these are the logic problems I have with religious thinkers. They start from certain assumptions (no laws against kink or lesbianism - as unlike sex between men it's not specifically forbidden) and then try to arrange the doctrine to work around the obvious disjunctions in the logic of their dogmas. It's a good living for clerics historically but for the rest of us, or at least for me, religion causes far too much death and destruction in the world to justify the good things it does.

For the past two millennia the followers of the three principal Abrahamic religions have been killing each other over how to worship the same deity. That makes the least sense of all.


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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:09 pm 
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My dad used to say that with politics and religion one never has a real chance of convincing the other side. I often verified that with my own experience.


Last edited by Bangerman on Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:17 pm 
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m113 wrote:
[ Being a scholar of the bible I'm trying not to let this thread spread too much but sometimes I just get rubbed the wrong way.

Joshuas ethnic cleansing was something I debated in school (Not catholic). Part of the practices of the time involved child sacrifice. The origin of a house warming party can be traced to include when a child was actiually buried alive in the house - a practice that is is present in a form in Africa (a body part may be used instead).

This ethnic cleansing was arguably similar to the allies stopping the Nazis (not Germans). Because the threat of corruption was too great a death sentance was imposed for those who were collectivelly accessories to murder.

The cannonites had other unseemly practices too - one that involved a girl selling her virginity at the temple caught my eye as a teenager (I wonder why).

The point about the bible being an athology is correct to a point. No collection of eye witness is ever the same - a certain point of view. One 'contradiction' that comes to mind is about a robe Jesus wore - One gospel said purple another said red. A contradiction until you realise that purple was made up of red dye during those times and so it is possible in the right light to see red and then another purple.

FYI regarding Job - God didn't test Job he mearly permitted the Devil to do so while safeguarding his life. Latter it was a HEA for him. His wife went into labour several more times though!

Roll on the Semenary!


I am not a biblical scholar and so I immediately and happily accept most of your points.


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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:34 pm 
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wowsers m113, I'm very impressed with your scholarly knowledge.

I'm going to back away from this conversation though, as I'm personally an atheist, and kinda respect whatever you choose for faith as long as you're not shitting on other people metaphorically. Literally just requires consent from all involved.
I still think the joke answer I put at the beginning is funny, and that the old testament is still full of messed up things, like history is.
Also, come on. Monkey. Monkey.

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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:18 am 
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celestical wrote:
wowsers m113, I'm very impressed with your scholarly knowledge.

I'm going to back away from this conversation though, as I'm personally an atheist, and kinda respect whatever you choose for faith as long as you're not shitting on other people metaphorically. Literally just requires consent from all involved.
I still think the joke answer I put at the beginning is funny, and that the old testament is still full of messed up things, like history is.
Also, come on. Monkey. Monkey.


I love all of the video clips you put up. They are hilarious

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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:31 am 
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I'm a firm believer that we can solve this smallish issue on a forum solely for nutcases. Can't be that hard. :roll:
Lets get back to chat about the main issues for this forum, debating the most ingenious ways of exploring and degrading women :lol:


(actually, a nutcase forum might be the only hope, since all sane people failed miserably at solving it over 2000 years 8-) )

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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:24 am 
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Darn you nice people. You are not capable of figthing even on religious matters. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:08 am 
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Fine.

No matter how you spin it, evil remains evil. And no 'love thy neighbor' passage will undo the evil in the bible. Do you call a person 'good' for an occasional act of kindness? No! You call a person 'good' for a lifetime of kindness. Was Hitler a good person because he loved his dog and his wife? Painted beautiful postcards? Built nice Autobahns? Respected animals as a vegetarian? No! He was evil despite these positive moments. What he has done - the genocide - puts him beyond redemption. Because a moment of evil weighs much heavier than a moment of kindness.

I have read the bible and I have seen its evil. I have read of the so-called 'Lord' demanding - and receiving - the blood of children and innocents for the smallest slight. I have read of him commanding his followers to hate and to murder. I have read of him setting wild animals on little boys for calling a man 'bald'. I have read of him drowning all of humanity for the transgressions of a few. If this 'lord' exists (and this is a big if) then he is no friend of mine, and neither are his followers.

For if someone calls this book of vile darkness 'holy', then one must assume that they couldn't tell good from evil if you shook a stick at it. So what if it says 'love thy neighbor'? It doesn't make the rest of it 'good' or 'holy'. Genocide never is. If you truly want to distance yourself from all this murderous crap, then please, go ahead! Rip out those pages or call a new council that defines what is part of your faith and what is not. But until you do, we judge you by the entirety of your holy text and we find you wanting. Wanting in compassion. Wanting in tolerance. Wanting even in the most basic humanity.

"2 Thus says the Lord of hosts ... Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey."

So what if Jesus said this or that we could agree on?

Hitler painted postcards.


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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:25 pm 
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Nah, nice try. But I ain't biting 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:39 pm 
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MrGoodPecker wrote:
Darn you nice people. You are not capable of figthing even on religious matters. :lol:


I never meant to start a war. I just wanted you to let me in.

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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:27 pm 
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celestical wrote:
MrGoodPecker wrote:
Darn you nice people. You are not capable of figthing even on religious matters. :lol:


I never meant to start a war. I just wanted you to let me in.


celestical look at your post count - your already in!

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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:24 am 
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quoting Miley Cirus might put you on the outside looking in though. However, to make up for it you could put a clip of her swinging on a wrecking ball. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Religion, Church
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:57 am 
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dougeee wrote:
quoting Miley Cirus might put you on the outside looking in though. However, to make up for it you could put a clip of her swinging on a wrecking ball. :twisted:

i couldn't help it. Anyway, you all can go back to the religion debate. I shouldn't hijack this thread.

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